A Systematic Review of Autologous Platelet-Rich Plasma and Fat Graft Preparation Methods

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The addition of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to adipose tissue may improve fat graft survival, although graft retention rates vary markedly between studies. To what extent this outcome heterogeneity reflects differing methodological factors remains unknown. This systematic review aims to synthesize and critically review methodological approaches to autologous PRP and fat cotransplantation in both human and animal studies.


In accordance with PRISMA guidelines, Ovid MEDLINE, Scopus, and Cochrane Library databases were searched from inception to April 2017. Data were extracted from all in vivo studies involving autologous PRP and fat cotransplantation. A secondary aim was to assess reporting of technical detail; authors were not contacted to provide missing data.


From 335 articles, 23 studies were included in the qualitative synthesis. Some 21 were performed in humans and 2 in rabbits. Six studies were randomized control trials; the remainder reported on observational data. Methods of PRP extraction and activation varied markedly between studies. Fat graft preparation was comparatively more consistent. Methods of PRP and fat mixing differed significantly, especially with regards to relative volume/volume ratios.


Our study represents the first systematic review of methodological factors in autologous PRP and fat cotransplantation. It demonstrates that technical factors in graft preparation and administration vary significantly between in vivo studies. Such methodological heterogeneity may explain observed differences in experimental and clinical outcomes. Reporting of key procedural information is inconsistent and often inadequate. These issues make meaningful evaluation of the PRP-enhanced fat grafting literature difficult and may limit its translation into clinical practice.

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